Key West Fishing Tales FAQ

Is that price per person?!?
No. Since we do only private charters, the price is for the boat whether it is one person or 6.

How many anglers can I fish?
All Sport fishing Charter boats are limited to six paying passengers. Please don’t ask me to break this Federal Law. I don’t want to have to make French fries for a living…

Can we share or “split” the boat with other people?
Only if you invite them! We choose not to book “splits” or sell by the seat. All of our charters are private. As a Captain, I want to be able to concentrate on running a quality fishing trip. I don’t want to be in the position of referee between customers over who catches the next fish, who drank my beer, or why aren’t we fishing for groupers instead of sailfish, etc. Sharing a sport fishing charter is like going to a 5 star restaurant and sharing a table with strangers for 8 hours. You wouldn’t even consider it in a restaurant, why would you do it on a charter? There are many charter boats in Key West that do book “splits”. They make more money that way. If I charged $800 for a private half day, I could charge $200 per person for 6 people and make more money. Remember, you get what you pay for.

What about tipping: AKA gratuity, propino, grease…?
Tipping is not mandatory, but greatly appreciated. A mate works for tips just like a bartender or waiter. 20% of the charter price in cash is customary. Most of a mate's income comes from tips. The "Mr. Z" uses only experienced professional mates.


Will I need a fishing license?
No, we have all City, County, State and Federal Licenses.

What are your rates?
Half day: $695; 3/4 day: $895, Full day (8 hours): $1,095; Tournaments: $1,495 per day
(see our Key West Fishing Tournament Calendar); Sunset Cruise: $349.

What's that old wives’ tale about "no bananas?"
It’s exactly that, a tale from old wives. Feel free to bring your bananas.

What kind of fish will we catch?
The kind that bite! Please see our fishing calendar.

Can I keep the fish I catch?
On the "Mr. Z" all fish belong to the customer. We never try to talk you out of the fish that you paid to catch. Part of the mate’s job is to clean your catch, bag and ice it. Most restaurants in Key West will cook your catch and there’s nothing like eating what you caught, especially if you like fresh fish! Remember, we do respect local fish and game laws, please don’t ask us to keep illegal fish.

What if I want a mount of my fish?
We are representatives for Gray Taxidermy, the largest saltwater taxidermist in the world. We would be happy to arrange mounts of your catch. All Billfish mounts are release only.


What is your cancellation policy?
We require a $200 dollar deposit to book a charter. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express (and there is no service fee or extra charge for paying with your credit card). You can also mail us a check for the deposit as long as it is received in a timely fashion (5 days). Bring credit card, cash or travelers checks for balance payment day of the trip. Personal checks accepted only in advance and must be cleared. Only one charge card per trip. Multiple cards will require me to charge the 7.5% sales tax for the State of Florida. If the client "no shows" at the marina at the time and date of the booking, the full charge will be made to the card. If customer cancels within 48 hours, the reservations full charge will apply. $200 deposit is non-refundable, that's the definition of a deposit. We are not responsible for seasickness refunds, so please take precautions. Rain is not a reason for cancellation. If the Captain cancels the charter there is no charge. Please remember, this is our livelihood. If you get drunk the night before and blow us off, we lose that entire day.

What about rough weather?
The “Mr. Z” is the largest full-time Sport Fishing charter boat in Key West. We rarely lose days to bad or rough weather. I generally say we can run in wind speeds up to 25 knots or 6-8 foot seas. Our weather service can sometimes (mostly) be incorrect at times so we adopt a “wait and see” policy. We don’t’ cancel trips until we have to. In that case, there is no charge. All weather calls are made by the captain.

What about safety equipment and your qualifications?
All Captains of the “Mr. Z” are U.S.C.G. Licensed and fully insured. The “Mr. Z” is equipped with all Coast Guard required safety gear as well as EPIRB, life raft, and extra gear. More about the Captain.

What do I need to bring on board with me for my day of fishing?
You will need to bring whatever you want to eat or drink. We provide coolers and ice. We also suggest sun block, polarized sunglasses, shoes and a cell phone to call work with and brag about your catch!

What about the trip times and length of trips?
A half day is 4 hours a 3/4 day is 6 hours a full day is 8 hours. The departure time often can be changed to fit your schedule or the time of year. We usually like to leave the dock around sunrise and beat the other boats to the fish.


What if we want to snorkel or dive?
Sorry, we only run fishing charters (and occasional sunset cruises). There is a dive boat located directly across from us at the Galleon Marina. They don’t take people fishing and we don’t take people diving. We get along great.

Is rain gear necessary?
Not on a 46 foot air-conditioned sport fish! If it rains, and that’s rare, just retreat to one of the lazy-boys in the salon and we’ll put in a DVD until it lets up!

What experience level is necessary?
Absolutely none. We frequently get anglers that have never caught a fish. We will guide you every step of the way and rarely make fun of you. That’s the beauty of a high-end charter, all you need is money!

Are alcoholic beverages permitted?
Yes...It's your charter and I’m driving!

Are bait and licenses provided?
Yes, we provide all bait, tackle, ice and the licenses.

What type of payment do you accept?
CASH… Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Travelers Checks.


How do I make a reservation for my trip?
First, call or email and make sure that day is available. Then send a check or give me a card number to hold that day.

What is included in the price of the boat?
All of the bait, tackle, rods, reels, licenses, and ice for the fish and drink cooler are included.

What time do we need to arrive at the boat?
Arriving 15 minutes prior to departure time is appropriate. We do like to leave in a timely fashion to get to the fish before the other boats, but we won’t leave without you!

How far will we run before we get to fish?
We usually run about a half hour to 45 minutes. It’s about 6-7 miles to get to 100 feet of water. Remember, we are docked in downtown Key West. We don’t have to idle all around the island just to get to Key West Harbor.

When is the best time of year to go fishing?
Whenever you can go. We fish year round, 300 plus trips. We always catch something, that’s the beauty of fishing in Key West! See our fishing calendar for Key West waters.

What kind of tackle will we use?
We use all Shimano and Penn reels, and Star rods. 12 to 80 pound class. Mostly, we use 30# for trolling; it’s heavy enough to land almost any fish in our waters, but light enough to make it sporting.


Can I bring my own personal tackle?
Sure, but why not abuse our rods and lose our tackle instead? But seriously, we don’t mind you bringing your favorite rod or lure; it always makes the catch more rewarding. Please let us know ahead of time so the mate can make preparations.

Why should I book the "Mr. Z"?
Consistency and service. The boat speaks for itself. The crew is well trained and competent. Our goal in business is repeat clientele. The only way to create a solid customer base that returns year after year is to run the best trip possible every day.

Remember! If it swims, we can catch it!

Mr. Z Charters 
C/O A and B Marina
700 Front St.
Key West, FL 33040